November 2008 Market Pulse

Pending Home Sales Index The Pending Home Sales Index measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year.

November 1, 2008

Existing single-family home sales were down slightly in August as tight credit curtailed mortgage activity, but NAR’s forward-looking pending sales indicator suggests solid sales growth in the months ahead. 

The existing-home sales pace was 4.91 million units, down from 5.02 million in July.

The pending home sales index, though, jumped to 93.4, from an upwardly revised 87.0 in July.

The Pending Home Sales Index measures housing contract activity; an index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year. July numbers are adjusted from figures published in October.

Slow Traffic Saps Confidence

Practitioners’ expectations for new sales slipped in September as the country tried to shore up the mortgage finance system. Confidence in both seller and buyer traffic is down, but prospects could improve now that Congress has passed an economic stabilization package.

Results are based on 1,492 responses to 3,000 surveys sent to large and small real estate offices. The survey asks practitioners to indicate whether conditions are strong (100 points), moderate (50), or weak (0). Responses are averaged to derive results.

Source: NAR Research


In 2012 NAR rebenchmarked its existing-home sales data going back to 2007, so reports published between 2007 and 2011 no longer contain up-to-date figures. Find the latest existing-home sales data at REALTOR.org. You’ll find more recent editions of Market Pulse here.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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